94% of Filipinos see importance of regaining control over Chinese-occupied islands in WPS: SWS survey

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According to Second Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey (SWS) survey conducted from June 22-26, 93% of Filipino adults say it is important that Philippines regain control of the islands occupied by China in the West Philippine Sea.

The said survey asked, “In your opinion, is it important that the control of the islands that China currently occupies in the West Philippine Sea be given back to the Philippines?”

SWS sais that 74% of surveyed adult Filipinos answered ‘very important’, 19% ‘somewhat important’, 1% ‘somewhat not important’, and 1% ‘not at all important’. Four percent were undecided.

“The latest figure of 93% saying it is very important/somewhat important that the Philippines regain control of the China-occupied islands in the West Philippine Sea is 4 points above the 89% (72% very important, 17% somewhat important) in December 2018. It was 87% (72% very important, 15% somewhat important) in September 2018, and also 87% (69% very important, 18% somewhat important) in June 2018,” SWS said.i

SWS said that the June 2019 survey also asked, “Is [activity] RIGHT or NOT RIGHT for the Philippine government to do in resolving the conflict between the Philippines and China about the West Philippine Sea?” Four specific activities, presented in random order, were tested.

“To this, 89% said it is not right for the government to leave China alone with its infrastructures and military presence in the claimed territories. This is up from 88% in December 2018, 84% in September 2018, and 81% in June 2018,” SWS said

It added that 92% said it is right to strengthen the military capability of the Philippines, especially the Navy. “This is down slightly from 93% in December, but up from 86% in September 2018 and 80% in June 2018,” SWS said.

“Also, 83% said it is right for the government to bring the issue to international organizations, like the United Nations or Association of Southeast Asian Nations, for a diplomatic and peaceful negotiation with China about the claimed territories. This is up from 77% in December, 71% in September 2018, and 74% in June 2018,” SWS said.

SWS also said that 84% said it is right for the government to form alliances with other countries that are ready to help us in defending our security in the West Philippine Sea.